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Plan Ahead For You and Your Family

April 16th is recognized each year as National Healthcare Decisions Day to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.


Who will speak for you if you cannot?

Who will make decisions about your health care?

Photo: Woman discussing financial documents with senior parents and discussing the importance of advance care plannin

Create Your Advance Care Plan

Planning Ahead Can Be a Gift

A plan

  • Can be made at any time in your life.
  • Gives you and your loved ones peace of mind.
  • Helps prevent questions, confusion, and disagreements among family members.
  • Advises health care providers what you want if you are unable to speak for yourself.

Think, Decide, Communicate, and Document

  • Write down your care wishes and preferences while you are able.
  • Talk with family members about your living will or advance directive.
  • Decide who will be responsible for making decisions if you cannot.

A Lack of Planning Has Economic Consequences

  • Unnecessary medical expenses for treatment, hospital stays, and nursing homes.

Learn more about National Healthcare Decisions Day and watch a video highlighting the value of advance care planning.

CDC's Online Course for Professionals

Professionals in the public health and aging networks are in unique positions to help educate the public about the role and value of advance care planning. CDC now offers an online course especially for this audience. The course is free of charge and offers continuing education credits.